From world-famous icons to local favorites
Below, we’ve curated a list of our favorite places to put images on Instagram. It includes architectural gems like the Walt Disney Concert Hall, outstanding vista points like the Hollywood Bowl Overlook and world-famous landmarks like the Santa Monica Pier.
You might have to elbow through tourists or get sweaty hiking a steep trail to get the shot, but the geotag will make your followers jealous.
Today’s Venice canals aren’t the original bodies of water built by enterprising developer Abbot Kinney. But the channels once flowed through Kinney’s planned European-style community, and they exist today as scenic waterways dotted with colorful boats and crossed by arched bridges.
Address: 200 Linnie Canal, Venice, CA 90291
There are seven scenic overlooks on Mulholland Drive. This one is tucked up behind the Stone Canyon Reservoir, and it offers sweeping views of the Downtown skyline and Hollywood, and even a glimpse of that signature LA fixture: the freeway. The Hollywood Bowl Overlook can be reached by car, but has a very small parking lot. It’s open from sunrise to sunset.
Address: 7036 Mulholland Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Urban Light and LACMA
If you didn’t ’gram from Urban Light, did you even spend time in Los Angeles? A perennial Instagram favorite since it opened in 2008, the installation of 202 historic street lamps is located outside of the museum’s entrance on Wilshire Boulevard, and it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo of it. The museum has plenty of other photogenic spots, too, from Levitated Mass to the zig-zag roofline of the Renzo Piano-designed Lynda and Stewart Resnick Pavilion to the palm trees to the soon-to-be-demolished modernist buildings designed by William Pereira.
Address: 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
The shiny Frank Gehry-designed venue pops up in many a Downtown photo. The curvaceous exterior is endlessly photogenic but the rooftop garden and its mosaic water fountain make for a nice backdrop too.
Address: 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
One of LA’s most iconic buildings, the Griffith Observatory also offers some of the best views of the city from its balconies and observation decks, with sight lines all the way to Palos Verdes on a clear day. Parking at the nearby lot is $4 per hour, but you can also park at the bottom of the hill and take the free shuttle—or take the Observatory DASH bus.
Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
For some of the best ocean views in Southern California, head to Abalone Cove, at the southern end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. From there, you’ll see miles of sparkling blue ocean, with the hulking outline of Catalina Island in the distance.
Address: 5970 Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Built by hand by Simon Rodia over the course of 33 years (1921 to 1954), the unconventional building materials of the Watts Towers—pieces of porcelain, mirrors, seashells—make for exciting pictures up close; their heights and unique shapes look great from across the street.
Address: 1765 E 107th St, Los Angeles, CA 90002
There are a lot of reasons to dislike visiting the tourist mecca that is the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but it’s undeniably fun to see the pink star of an actor or musician who has earned your admiration. And if you aren’t in it for the celebrities, there’s the glittery terrazzo.
Address: Hollywood and Vine, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Another tourist hot-spot that’s unmistakably fun (and photogenic), the wood pier is undeniably one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in all of LA. Whether you visit to snap photos of the Ferris wheel, kitschy restaurants, or the shoreline—definitely stick around for the pink and orange sunsets.
Address: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
The best Instagram photographers in Los Angeles don’t always disclose their shooting locations, but they do regularly take advantage of this vista point from a bluff above Culver City. The one-mile hike to the top is steep, but you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the basin and Downtown skyline. At night, a sea of twinkling lights will spread out before you.
Address: 6300 Hetzler Road, Culver City, Ca 90232